Why 2020 will be a crucial year for the NHS.

The Conservative government is prioritising the NHS and with that promises have been made on everything from money, reducing waiting times and staffing.

So the year ahead looks to be crucial as ministers seek to meet the challenges that lay ahead for the health service in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But what are the most pressing issues for the government to address in 2020?

Reducing waiting times.

“Health is devolved, meaning the Department of Health and Social Care does not control health policy in the rest of the UK, although Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be watching closely to see what it does.”

Undoubtedly the most high-profile issue – and the one used by critics to beat the Tories – has been the huge increase in waiting times across the NHS. “It is more than three years since any of the three key targets covering A&E, hospital operations and cancer have been met.” 

Both A&E and routine operations are at their worst levels since the respective targets have been introduced.

Tackling care ‘crisis’ after 20 years of talk.

Many hospitals are feeling pressures due to lack of care in the community. 1/20 beds in hospitals are taken by a patients who are ready to be discharged, but cannot be due to a lack of support when they leave.

The issues are well documented – and the government has already pledged to take action. In fact, Boris Johnson promised to  “fix the social care crisis once and for all” in his first speech on the steps of Downing Street when he took office in the summer. 

The election manifesto provided no detail on how the Conservatives would do this, beyond promising that people would not have to sell their own homes to pay for care – only the poorest get help from the state.

Filling the gaps.

Another issue facing the NHS is the workforce challenge. One in 12 posts on the NHS in unfilled.  The government has already taken action by increasing the number of Doctors and Nurses in training, but they will take many years to fill the current openings.

So, this means that a lot of spaces are empty and it seems to be the best time in a long time to get hired within the healthcare industry. Allowing doctors and nurses to move up the ladder, get better pay and more control.

 

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